Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz from Rogue Spirits

RogueCucumberPour2For this special edition of Tastings Notes, we get acquainted with the new line of Sparkling Craft Cocktails from Rogue Spirits (Newport, Oregon) by getting into a can of Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz.

Crafted to “embody the spirit of the DIY ethos of mixology”, Rogue’s new selection of gluten-free Sparkling Craft Cocktails are made “with award-winning Rogue Spirits and 100% natural ingredients.”  Coming in at just 7.5% ABV, each Sparkling Craft Cocktail “delivers a sophisticated, yet refreshing experience with bona fide craft cocktail credentials.”

This new line launched back in August with the following three offerings (descriptions sourced directly from Rogue’s press release):

  • Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz – Inspired by cucumbers grown on Rogue Farms, Rogue Spirits Gin forms the base of this cocktail while the cucumber and lime provide a farm-fresh citrus balance.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda – Inspired by the cranberries that grow on the Oregon coast, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while the cranberry, elderflower and lime add a refreshing tartness.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Ginger Lime Vodka Mule – Inspired by a favorite at the Rogue Pub in Newport, Oregon, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while ginger and lime provide a refreshing balance of citrus and spice.  ABV – 7.5%

All three Sparkling Craft Cocktails listed above are currently available in 4-packs of 12 oz. slim cans at select retailers located in Florida, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Michigan only.  Nationwide availability is scheduled to begin in January 2020.

With all of that background information now out of the way, what do you say we crack open a cold one . . . er, cocktail and get into these Tasting Notes?

Tasting Notes for Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz from Rogue Spirits

Appearance: Poured over ice into a highball glass, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail is a foggy, icy white in color and builds a 1/2 finger of spritzy bubbles that dissipates almost immediately.  Despite its cloudy appearance, you can still see a steady carbonation presence bubbling away within. It basically looks like a mix between a cocktail made with soda or tonic and a hard seltzer.

Aroma:  The aromatics are pretty subtle overall, but you can immediately pick up on an incredibly clean note of fresh cucumber.  Juniper and a mix of nondescript botanicals then surface to hint at the presence of gin.  The profile closes with the soft minerality of quality sparkling water.

Taste: That gin note blooms a bit more here to offer soft tones of juniper, citrus peel, coriander, and various other botanicals, This sets the stage nicely for a refreshing note that can only be described as slices of cucumber dressed with fresh squeezed lime.  Everything wraps up in the finish with a wash of sparkling water.  All of these notes may be light, but they still somehow remain distinct and absolutely present.

Mouthfeel:  Light in body with a bright carbonation presence, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail is wonderfully easy drinking.  None of the flavors are aggressive or dominating on the palate. Everything is just nice and balanced against a backdrop of very clean sparkling water.  The 7.5% ABV is nearly undetectable, further adding to this offering’s high level of refreshment and drinkability.  The aftertaste is just a soft whisper of fresh cucumber.

Final Thoughts:  Just like its appearance, the overall experience provided by Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz falls somewhere between a hand-crafted cocktail and one of those hard seltzers that are so popular right now (yes, we have dabbled in the dark art that is hard seltzer).  With that said, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail quickly sets itself apart from those often-artificial tasting hard seltzers by showcasing nothing but good ole natural ingredients.  The cucumber and lime notes combine with the gentle gin character to create a genuine cocktail experience that reads similarly to a bit of Hendrick’s Gin topped off with a heavy pour of high-end sparkling water.

All in all, Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz has quite a bit going for it:

  • It is filled with fresh and natural flavors and aromas
  • It is ridiculously easy drinking
  • It is wildly refreshing
  • AND it conveniently scratches that cocktail itch with just a pull of the tab on a can

It is a truly unique and delicious offering, and – if you are at all a fan of cucumber and/or gin – we highly recommend that you give it a try whenever Rogue Spirits’ Sparkling Craft Cocktails hit your area.  Prost!

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Rogue Spirits Rolls Out New Line of Sparkling Canned Cocktails

RogueSparklingLineRogue Spirits (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced that it is entering the ready-to-drink arena with the launch of three Sparkling Craft Cocktails – Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz, Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda and Ginger Lime Vodka Mule – in select markets on August 1.

Crafted to “embody the spirit of the DIY ethos of mixology”, Rogue’s new selection of gluten-free Sparkling Craft Cocktails are made “with award-winning Rogue Spirits and 100% natural ingredients.”  Coming in at just 7.5% ABV, each Sparkling Craft Cocktail “delivers a sophisticated, yet refreshing experience with bona fide craft cocktail credentials.”

This new line will launch with the following three offerings (descriptions sourced directly from Rogue’s press release):

  • Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz – Inspired by cucumbers grown on Rogue Farms, Rogue Spirits Gin forms the base of this cocktail while the cucumber and lime provide a farm-fresh citrus balance.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda – Inspired by the cranberries that grow on the Oregon coast, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while the cranberry, elderflower and lime add a refreshing tartness.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Ginger Lime Vodka Mule – Inspired by a favorite at the Rogue Pub in Newport, Oregon, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while ginger and lime provide a refreshing balance of citrus and spice.  ABV – 7.5%

“As brewers we love the convenience of beer in a can, and as distillers we enjoy the complex flavor profiles of a good mixed drink, launching a line of canned cocktails just felt right. Leaning on our 16 years of distilling experience, we developed three amazing cocktails and put them in a can, so you don’t have to worry about mixing up your favorite drink on the go,” says Rogue President Dharma Tamm. “Made with flavors that rival our freshly made bar equivalents, our sparkling craft cocktails are perfect for summer, whether it be camping, at the beach or in your backyard. They can be enjoyed right out of the can or poured over ice.”

Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz, Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda and Ginger Lime Vodka Mule will all experience an initial launch on August 1 in Florida, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Michigan only and a nationwide release is scheduled to follow in January 2020.  All three Sparkling Craft Cocktails are available in 4-packs of 12 oz. slim cans.  Prost!

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Rogue Spirits Releases Oregon Single Malt Whiskey

IMG_9744Rogue Ales & Spirits (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced the release of its first five-year aged product, Oregon Single Malt Whiskey.

Produced at the only farm-brewery-distillery-cooperage in the United States, Rogue’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey has been “handcrafted from ingredients grown on Rogue Farms in the Willamette and Tygh Valleys, distilled on a 550-gallon still and aged in the air of the Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon.”  After five years of careful aging, this medium to full-bodied Single Malt has picked up “an attractive aroma of floral honey, peach and mango” that slowly transitions to notes of “lush, ripe fruit and brown spice.”

“Ocean aging is where a lot of the magic happens,” says Rogue Distiller Jake Holshue. “The Single Malt Whiskey breathes in the steady, cool, coastal air for five years, which influences its flavor profile, making the spirit truly unique, and proudly rooted in Newport.”

In addition to the release of Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, Rogue Ales & Spirits is also introducing a three-year aged Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey and a two-year aged Dead Guy Whiskey.  All of these offerings are available now as Year-Round offerings packaged in 750ml bottles.  You can expect to find these new whiskeys at select retailers located throughout the United States.  Prost!

Vital Information for Oregon Single Malt Whiskey from Rogue Ales & Spirits

Release – Year-Round, launching February 2018
Style – Single Malt Whiskey
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Ingredients – Rogue Farms Risk™ Malt, Free-Range Coastal Water & Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast
Availability – 750ml bottles 

Rogue Ales & Spirits Set to Release 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

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Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works Master Cooper, Nate Linquist, poses with Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

Rogue Ales & Spirits (Newport, Oregon) recently announced that it will begin the much-anticipated, limited release of its 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout later this month.

The story behind Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout all begins with the barrel and Nate Linquist, Master Cooper at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.  Back in 2015, the folks at Rogue Ales & Spirits got their hands on some “vintage, WWII-era, coopering equipment” and established Rolling Thunder Barrel Works as “the only brewery-distillery-cooperage west of Lynchburg, Tennessee.” With this equipment and a good supply of Oregon Oak, Nate Linquist “assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, cauterizes, sands and brands one barrel a day, all by hand.”  Once assembled, these meticulously crafted barrels go on to hold Dead Guy Whiskey as it matures, and then pull double duty by eventually providing Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout a home as it barrel ages.

Having been “brewed with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms and ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at . . . Rolling Thunder Barrel Works”, Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is a truly special offering because nearly every aspect of this beer has been either handled, influenced, grown, or created by a member of the Rogue family.  This homegrown approach results in a barrel-aged Imperial Stout that “features deep sherry notes accentuated by hints of coconut, cherries, dark fruit and vanilla held up against a dark roasted malt backbone with earthy hops.”  Weighing in at a massive 14% ABV, the 2017 vintage of Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout “is bigger and bolder than the inaugural 2016 release.”

“At first it was a creative challenge,” said General Manager Dharma Tamm, “to see how we could incorporate our brewery, distillery, cooperage and farm into one beer. However, our brewers, distillers, coopers, farmers – and even graphic designers turned it into a quest to create a world class beer that exemplifies the Rogue spirit of challenging the norm and pushing creative boundaries.”

2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout will make its official debut at Rogue public houses starting on Friday, July 21.  This Limited Release offering will then enter distribution on August 1 with availability on draft and in 1-liter swing-top bottles.  Quantities are extremely limited, so keep an eye out for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida, Oregon, California, Washington and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution footprint (of course, this excludes Alabama and any other state where Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout would exceed ABV and container size restrictions).  Prost!

Vital Information for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) from Rogue Ales

Release – Limited, official release date set for July 21, 2017
Style – American Imperial Stout
ABV – 14%
Malts – Rogue Farms Dare & Risk Malts; Nate’s Smoke, Brown, Kiln Black, Roasted Barley, C40 & C75 Malts; & Oats
Hops – Rogue Farms Liberty & Freedom
Yeast – Pacman Yeast
Added Ingredients – Brown Sugar, Sweet Dark Cherries, Vanilla & Chocolate
Treatment – Ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works
Availability – 1-liter swing-top bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.rogue.com/finder/